After missing the Knicks' first 33 games of the season, Reggie Bullock made his debut with the team on Wednesday night against the Blazers, and his impact was felt immediately.
Bullock, who had been sidelined as he recovered from offseason neck surgery, scored 11 points and grabbed two rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench during the Knicks' 117-93 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bullock entered the game for the first time with 3:52 remaining in the first quarter.
"We felt like it was a good time right there, it was a good window where we weren't going to ever play him with the first turn. The time was about right, and he gave us a great boost," interim head coach Mike Miller said of Bullock. "He comes in and makes a couple shots and makes a defensive play as soon as he comes into the game. … I think some of the thinks that we felt like he would be able to do, I think we saw some of those things.
"I think to be fair, that's his first game back and we figured it would take a couple of weeks and certainly this west coast trip that we have to really get his legs under him and find a food rhythm, but I thought he was really good tonight."
Bullock signed a two-year deal with the Knicks this past offseason, and he was happy to finally get on the court and play with the teammates he's watched from the sidelines.
"It was great just to be back out there. Seeing the ball go through the hoop and playing out there with my teammates - I signed here for a reason, for the guys that we signed, I knew what we were capable of doing," said Bullock. "I'm glad to be inserted out there and playing with them and it just felt good to be out there."
First game as a Knick ✅ pic.twitter.com/Uid8AXj3d5- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 2, 2020
Bullock, 28, brings years of experience to this Knicks roster, but he also brings shooting, something the team sorely needs. Bullock knocked down three three-pointers in his team debut, and he was pleased with how his shot has held up through his rehab process.
"That's my gift," Bullock said. "That's what got me into this league, being able to shoot the ball, so that was one gift that I didn't want to be able to leave when dealing with this neck injury, but it's good to be able to see my shot back fluently like it was before I left, and I've just got to continue to keep building."
Bullock has also dealt with recent family tragedy, as his sister Keiosha Moore was killed in a shooting in Baltimore in late October. He and his family have endured through tough times, and he was glad to be able to bring something positive on Wednesday night, with family members on hand at the Garden.
"Just my son knowing that I was playing tonight, and he stayed up to be able to watch the game and see his dad," Bullock said. "But just for family, really. We've been through a lot and I just felt like it was just great for me to go out there with my family on my back and just try to do something great for the family. Try to take all the negative things away and bring something positive."